Many fish such as this peacock flounder Bothus lunatus are difficult to spot on the coral reef. Often fish that are hard to find and capture command a higher price.
for it. Many species still offered for sale
grow too large, are too difficult to feed, or
simply cannot adjust to life in an aquarium.
These animals are better left on the reef or
in the hands of public display aquariums
that have enormous tanks and employ a
staff of marine scientists. Moorish idols
Zanclus cornutus, orange-spotted filefish
Oxymonacanthus longirostris, and various
shark species all have reputations of
being either too big or too touchy for
home aquariums. In addition, species
like mandarinfish Synchiropus splendidus
have terrible survival records except in
the hands of very experienced hobbyists.
Still, we often see these gorgeous and
unique animals for sale in great numbers at
aquarium retailers all over the world.
Once at an importer’s facility, many fish species receive better care than what is found at an
on-island exporter’s facility. A good marine fish importer offers their animals care similar to that
given by a marine fish retailer.
If you are interested in preserving marine
fish species or protecting natural coral reef
ecosystems, your most powerful tool—
believe it or not—is your consumer dollar.
Supporting fish outlets that sell only net-captured and wisely harvested species, and
only keeping fish you can be successful
with, are responsible actions that work to
help keep the marine aquarium hobby from
becoming a detriment to Mother Nature.
Researching which nations worldwide
practice responsible marine fish harvesting
and asking your local fish store just where
your fish came from and how they were
captured are important steps to limiting reef
destruction by unscrupulous collectors.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that, “A
nation and its moral progress can be judged
by how they treat their animals.” The
capture, export, and care of marine fish
are extremely important ethical concerns.
These amazing animals surprise, astound,
and impress us on many levels. We must
understand that they have undergone a
remarkable journey and have specific care
requirements if we want to be successful in
this enormously rewarding hobby. D
A large, fully stocked marine aquarium can contain a tremendous amount of biodiversity. When set up and maintained properly, they serve as wonderful
representations of their natural counterparts.